Imitation slate is a less expensive alternative to replacing the original with a roof of slate. Looks like real slate and is acceptable in most every city for use in historic areas. The advantages of using manufactured slate are many. An excellent reason to use because it weighs less than real slate, which is a benefit for previously non-maintained older homes with questionable structures in the ceiling.
Probably the biggest reason the imitation slate is chosen on the basis of the cost factors involved. It is about 4 times the cost of architectural asphalt shingles, but it is significantly less than real slate, both in cost of material and labor for the installation.
There are basically two companies that manufacture imitation slate. It is Eco-Star Majestic Slate by Carlisle and the Lamarite Slate Composite Shingles by Tamko. It is a personal choice on which brand to chose as they both have very good warranties when installed by a professional installer, as well as very similar characteristics.
Both brands are available in several different options, such as color, width and style. If your home is a Victorian Style, then perhaps the beveled, beaver tail or chiseled point from Eco-Star will your best choice. There are many old Victorian houses that have different color, designs and style. These standards are many and very original, which also requires a lot of skill, both the layout and installation.
As a general contractor, specializing in historic restoration, I recently asked my main slate repair guy to check out a barn roof that has real slate on the front and imitation slate on the back. To save time, the typical way to inspect an existing slate roof is with the help of binoculars, looking at the ceiling of the ground. This method minimizes the more broken slate walk on the roof during the inspection. I had forgotten to tell him about the imitation slate on the back and got a phone call from him to express amazement at the excellent condition of the slate on the back of the barn, in comparison with the many repairs needed on the front.
As an old-timer in the slate trade, he was shocked and a bit embarrassed when he learned that he had the wrong imitation slate for the real thing. Yes, it looks both the slate had been on the roof for over 8 years and had developed the typical weathered appearance as real slate always has, so it could not be better.
keep in mind, however, that if you pick real slate or imitation slate, the snow to slip easily, then you should use the money for the right guards snow or when the snow comes, someone can get hurt by a ton of snow avalanching off the roof.
What the brand wants to be installed in your home, make sure that the installer carefully follow the manufactures instructions for installation and you will have a roof that will last and look good for many years.
Jonathan Owens owner of Brookline Builders Inc in Lancaster County Pa, is a Lancaster County native, started Brookline Builders 21 years ago when he was 19 years old. Although Brookline Builders will complete all your residential and commercial construction needs in Lancaster County as well as surrounding counties, Jonathan personally enjoys all types of historic restoration.
Check out the website of Brookline Builders here http://www.brooklinebuilder.com